Bulletin Back 1-6-14

I want to thank Diana Cheek for forwarding this paper to me. It was written by her son Eric who is a pastor in South Carolina.
Solomon, Idols, and Money
What or who is the ruler of your life?
This is no easy question to answer because we are often blinded by our own lusts. The person you know best probably knows who or what is the ruler of your life. But how can you do some self-inspection to see if you have an "idol" that is demanded your allegiance?
In the beginning, God created us in His image. We’ve been creating Him in our image ever since. Instead of worshiping the Creator, we settle for something less. We find a substitute god, small g. And here’s the tricky thing: most idols are good things, but those good things become bad things because they take the place of God. Instead of being the Ultimate End, God becomes a means to an end. We want something more than we want God. And we try to use God to get it.
David Powlison's list of questions in Seeing With New Eyes are good for a diagnostic test on our lives now and again to help us identify idols.
1. What do I worry about most? 2. What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live? 3. What do I use to comfort myself when things go bad or get difficult? 4. What do I do to cope? What are my release valves? What do I do to feel better? 5. What preoccupies me? What do I daydream about? 6. What makes me feel the most self-worth? Of what am I the proudest? For what do I want to be known? 7. What do I lead with in conversations? 8. Early on what do I want to make sure that people know about me? 9. What prayer, unanswered, would make me seriously think about turning away from God? 10. What do I really want and expect out of life? What would really make me happy? 11. What is my hope for the future?
Mark Batterson suggests these questions four idol identifiers:
1) What consumes your thoughts? Your daydreams are idol clues. If it’s something you think about more than God then it may be an idol.
2) What bad habits do you struggle with? Your addictions are idol clues. An idol is something you cannot control. It controls you.
3) What do you spend too much money on? Your spending habits are idol clues. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also!
4) What produces your strongest emotions? Your intense emotions are idol clues. If you want to identify an idol, all you have to do is identify your emotional attachments. (Some of you Clemson and Carolina fans need to listen up)
Again, self-diagnosis is difficult, but it is absolutely critical in the Christian life. Solomon, in all his wisdom, seemed to be blinded by his own idols.
Solomon, The smartest man to ever live! Was he immune?  What were some of Solomon’s idols? (money, women, power, etc.)
Just like Solomon, money is a huge idol for Americans. We have it built into our DNA. We were founded with an entrepreneurial spirit and a promise that if we work hard we will be rewarded. Unfortunately that has translated in an unbiblical view of money.
Love Never Fails Bro Mark
Exodus 20:3  “You shall have no other gods before me.

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